Galloway MSP Finlay Carson has denied profiting from a parliamentary expenses claim after his own firm designed his website, and handed the money paid out back.
The Conservative MSP came under fire after it was revealed he claimed £1200 in expenses for work done by CMS Broadband, an IT company based in Twynholm, that has both Mr Carson and his brother listed as directors.
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the Conservative MSP stated: “I’ve decided the best thing to do is to return all the money claimed for the website.
“I’d like to make it clear that I didn’t benefit financially from this arrangement. I employed the firm in good faith in the belief it provided good value. On reflection, however, it’s clear I shouldn’t have done so.
“My focus now is as where it always has been – on speaking up for my constituents in Dumfries and Galloway and making sure the south-west gets a hearing at Holyrood.”
In March this year, Mr Carson claimed £1200 for web design work carried out by CMS Broadband.
The MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries is listed as a director and shareholder of the firm alongside his brother John Carson.
Holyrood’s expenses rules state that “a member shall ensure that any claim is submitted solely in respect of the performance of parliamentary duties and is not submitted in order to gain financial or other benefit for the member or any other person”.
A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “If there is a breach of the rules, we will of course comply with whatever the parliamentary authorities advise and pay back any costs.”